Pain and joy in real-life play

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A play which played to critical acclaim last autumn is being staged in Armagh as part of the John Hewitt International Summer School.

Two Sore Legs by Green Green Shoot Productions will be at The Market Place Theatre, Armagh, on Wednesday, July 29 at 8.30pm.

Set in 1950s and ‘60s Belfast, Two Sore Legs tells the true story of playwright Brenda Murphy’s mother Bridie, a young Butlin’s Redcoat, who had six children by a married man.

The one-woman play, performed by Belfast-based actress Maria Connolly, explores the scandal, the pain, the joy and the fall-out from this extraordinary family arrangement and what it meant for Brenda, her siblings and her mother.

From the rowdy, fractious relationship Bridie had with her own father, to the explosive but hilarious visits of the local parish priest wanting to take her young children from her, this play is dripping with emotions and experiences.

Two Sore Legs is directed by Irish playwright Martin Lynch, based on original direction by BAFTA-award winner Noreen Kershaw (Scott & Bailey)).

Writer Brenda said, “I didn’t want to write this play. I felt it held too many negative emotions for me. But when I did, all kinds of things came tumbling out.

“Yes, there were the terrible aspects but it also allowed me to show a woman of extraordinary capacity, resilience and heart – then the good times just

came pouring out. It’s the most personal thing I’ve ever written.”

Two Sore Legs will be at the Market Place as part of a short Irish tour before it heads off for a run at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Tickets are on sale at the Market Place on 02837521821 or online at www.marketplacearmagh.com.